Recap and React: The Dick Van Dyke Show, season 2, episodes 21 – 26

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The ride home is miserable when Laura gets mad at Rob for paying for dinner in a party of six. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
The ride home is miserable when Laura gets mad at Rob for paying for dinner in a party of six. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 2, Episode 21: “My Husband is a Check-Grabber”
Directed by Al Rafkin
Written by Carl Reiner
Originally aired February 13, 1963
Recap: Laura becomes angry at Rob because he always offers to pick up the check when they go out with their friends, no matter how large the bill is.
Reaction: The restaurant scenes of this episode are very funny, and they take up most of the episode. Rob just reflects on the night, trying to figure out why Laura is angry. The fact that Rob can come up with so many potential reasons for Laura to be mad is hilarious in itself!
Favorite moment(s): Pickles’ crazy hair-do at dinner + Sally’s date ordering a body-temperature glass of skim milk

Jerry and Rob are both injured in a "four-person pile up" on the slopes. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Jerry and Rob are both injured in a “four-person pile up” on the slopes. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 2, Episode 22: “Don’t Trip Over That Mountain”
Directed by Coby Ruskin
Written by Carl Reiner
Originally aired February 20, 1963
Recap: Rob takes a skiing trip with Jerry, despite Laura’s worries that he’ll injure himself because he’ll get competitive with Jerry. Sure enough, she’s right: he ends up getting hurt.
Reaction: The best aspect of this episode is the physical comedy carried out by Dick Van Dyke. On the whole the episode’s pace is a little bit slow (to match Rob’s walking, I guess) and the writing takes Laura a bit too over-the-top with her paranoia in the first half. The final five minutes are really great, with Laura getting angry at Rob before discovering his bandages. Overall, a decent episode.
Favorite moment(s): “Ah, yes! I pushed my husband off a mountain.” + Jerry scheming to get out of his responsibilities by milking his injury

Vito Scotti guest stars in "Give Me Your Walls" (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Vito Scotti guest stars in “Give Me Your Walls” (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 2, Episode 23: “Give Me Your Walls!”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Carl Reiner
Originally aired February 27, 1963
Recap: Rob and Laura hire a quirky Italian painter to re-paint the walls of their living room after Rob accidentally gets ink on the wall.
Reaction: Vito Scotti’s guest role is a very fun one! He has a lot of charisma and makes the episode a delight to watch as he hangs around the Petrie house for almost a week. The role gives a nod to Scotti’s pre-fame past as a magician and mime — here he appears as a painter who performs magic tricks!
Favorite moment(s): Laura taking control with the negotiations with the painter because she knows she can do a better job at it than Rob!

Rob and Laura hit the stage (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Rob and Laura hit the stage (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 2, Episode 24: “The Sam Pomerantz Scandals”
Directed by Claudio Guzman
Written by Carl Reiner
Originally aired March 6, 1963
Recap: Rob’s old friend Sam Pomerantz is putting on a show at a resort where the whole gang has decided to vacation. When Rob accidentally injures the star of the show during a tennis match, he and his friends must take over and perform themselves.
Reaction: Lenny Weinrib and Henry Calvin guest-star as comedian Danny Brewster and a resort owner Sam Pomerantz, respectively. Both do very well and make nice additions to the episode, but the majority of the focus is dedicated to the performances put on by Rob and his pals. This episode feels very much like a variety show because it’s taken up by skits and musical numbers, which isn’t a bad thing at all — the different performance provides a nice change of pace from the usual structure of the episodes.
Favorite moment(s): Rob and Laura’s musical performance + Rob and Sam’s “Laurel and Hardy” skit

Jacques explains the truth about his failed marriage to Sally and Buddy (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Jacques explains the truth about his failed marriage to Sally and Buddy. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 2, Episode 25: “The Square Triangle”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Bill Idelson
Originally aired March 20, 1963
Recap: Another guest star is coming to The Alan Brady Show, and the Petries are surprised to find that it’s someone from their past: Jacques Savon, a French star. Rob and Laura both believe they were the cause of Jacques’ marriage failing!
Reaction: Jacques Bergerac guest stars as Jacques Savon. (So many great guest stars appeared in Season 2!) The best part of the episode comes after Jacques reveals the truth to Buddy and Sally but sets out to keep the truth a secret. He thinks that it won’t benefit Laura or Rob to know that he and his ex-wife were simply a bad match. Rob and Laura’s reactions to his presence (and his story of divorce) are very funny to watch.
Favorite moment(s): Robert hiding behind the door so he doesn’t have to confront Jacques + Laura freaking out when she sees Jacques for the first time + Rob addressing Jacques in Spanish

Rob and Laura get all fancied up for the party, but they still feel terribly out of place. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Rob and Laura get all fancied up for the party, but they still feel terribly out of place. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 2, Episode 26: “I’m No Henry Walden!”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Carl Reiner (from a story by Ray Brenner & Jack Guss)
Originally aired March 27, 1963
Recap: Rob and Laura get invited to a dinner party being held for the top writers in every field. Rob is the only comedy writer invited, though, and he feels inadequate among the intellectuals and their “deep” conversations.
Reaction: I’ve had to attend a few contrived, mingle-y parties during my academic career, so this episode was absolutely hilarious to me. The pretensions and turned-up noses of the “intellectuals” of the party are exaggerated just the right amount so that they’re funnier than usual, but anyone who has ever had to spend time with these types will recognize them as realistic characters. This episode was already a favorite of mine, but now that I’ve re-watched it with four years of academic schmoozing under my belt I love it even more.
Favorite moment(s): Everyone at the party getting Rob and Laura’s names wrong

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